If your ultimate goal is to get the bees into a top bar hive from a Langstroth Nuc or Langstroth hive, you can cut the bottom and sides of each langstroth frame off and using the falseback as a guide cut through the comb to make it the same angle as the top bar hive. Read More
Move a beehive 3 feet or 3 miles
There is an old saying many people have heard, you can only move a beehive “3 feet or 3 miles”. This saying implies that you can move a beehive up to 3 feet from it's original location and the bees will still find their hive but if the distance exceeds 3 miles or more, the bees figure they are not in Kansas anymore and they reorientate. ie... when the bees wake up to a new location, the landscape looks very different and their GPS is a bit off.
"Before the City" - Bees add propolis to their hive entrance to winterize and defend from robber bees.
What do Black Bees and Propolis have in common ?
When early civilizations observed a bee hive they must have seen the hive as a “city” of productive inhabitants. These early observers of nature witnessed the bees using a bright, yellow and orange substance to form a protective entrance to their city. They also noticed when fall came, the bees would slowly close up their entrance, until finally in the winter, all but a few small holes, just the size of a single bee remained.
Why do bees rob another hive? Read More
Robber bees will rob another hive if the hive is weak or if there are drought conditions and there is a lack of nectar sources. Normally a hive that is being robbed is a weaker hive or is low in numbers and they are not able to fully defend themselves. Normally you will only see robbing in the fall time, going into winter when bees, yellow jackets and others are all looking for that last source of food before winter sets in. Yet with the drought conditions and warmer temperatures we are now experiencing, robbing is also happening in the spring and late summer as well.
A Nuc is a hive in miniature and can house a functioning colony of bees. Our Nuc is about half the size of our full hive. The Nuc can be a temporary home for the bees, whether you just caught a swarm or made a split from your hive. The intent of the temporary home in the nuc is to transfer the colony from the Nuc into a full hive, so that the colony has time to fully fill out a regular size hive. Read More
The strange hive smell of sour dirty socks slowly turns to the brilliant scent of butterscotch! I have been walking by my hives in the last several weeks and smelling the peculiar scent of dirty socks or sour laundry. At first it kind of smells like bee bread, that wonderful smell of baking bread that is so familiar in the spring when bees are rearing brood. Read More
It's fall and there are only a few bees when I look through the window. There could be several reasons why in the Fall you might be seeing fewer bees through the window of your top bar hive.
The spacers are the thin strips of wood (1/4" thick) that come with our top bar hives and are described in our hive plans. Bees in natural habitats do not create equally-spaced combs. In a tree hive, for example, the bees will create two basic spacings. Read More
I want to share with you a very simple method of processing harvested comb from a top bar hive. This should give you an idea of the potential yield and the relative simplicity of working with the top bar hive. The best part of this single comb harvesting method is that it can be done in less than 30 minutes and you will still get to the office on time! Read More
Have you ever seen how a package of bees is installed into a hive? I was shocked at the process, after 15 years of only installing swarms I had never installed a package of bees, ever. Since I have a lot of people asking questions of how to do it, I decided I should know what it is about.